Helpful Hints

Posted: July 30, 2014 at 2:02 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Have you enjoyed the delicious taste of the funny little brown, furry kiwi? These small, fuzzy fruits are just plain fun to eat.

They do have a great taste, sort of like strawberries, but not really. When buying, pass over extremely soft or bruised fruit. Squeeze the little fuzzball (not too hard), and it should "give" a little. Time to eat and enjoy.

If still firm, you can ripen the fruit at room temperature (they do look nice in a bowl on the kitchen counter), or in a paper bag with an apple to speed up the process. Once ripened, kiwi can be kept in the refrigerator for up to four weeks, or left at room temperature for a few days.

P.S.: Did you know you can eat the skin of a kiwi? It is completely edible, but most people peel the skin before eating. However, now that I have learned this, I'm going to try one with the skin on!

DEAR HELOISE: Here are two summer hints my kids can't do without. First, I always place a small marshmallow in the bottom of ice-cream cones to keep the ice cream from coming out of the bottom.

Second, I place a layer of hazelnut spread or peanut butter around the inside of the cone before the ice cream is added for an extra-special flavor surprise.

-- Tara W. in Florida

DEAR HELOISE: I have always wondered if it matters which side is up or down when using regular aluminum foil: the shiny side or the dull side.

-- John W. in Illinois

DEAR READER: It makes absolutely no difference which side you use.

It's simply how it's manufactured. One side is polished by the steel rollers and is shiny.

DEAR READERS: Which of these items can be used when seeding jalapenos or hot peppers?

A. A grapefruit knife

B. Rubber gloves

C. A vegetable peeler

If you chose A, B or C, you are correct! All can be used, but you should certainly wear rubber gloves.

P.S.: If you don't have rubber gloves, rub some cooking oil on your hands before touching hot peppers. And don't rub your eyes, nose or any other body part!

DEAR HELOISE: I cut a cantaloupe into quarters, and then I use a grapefruit knife to cut the fruit from the skin. This works great, as the knife is curved and serrated on both sides.

-- Jeanette W.

in New Hampshire

DEAR READER: I'm going to look right now and see if I have a grapefruit knife!

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Food on 07/30/2014